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DIY: Replace Your Timing Chain

Replacing a timing chain is not as daunting a task as it seems. With a few hours and some common sense, you'll be able to replace your own timing chain and gears.
» Part 1: Before You Start
» Part 2: Removal
» Part 3: Installation


  • Slide in the new crankshaft sprocket making sure the dot or marks on the gear are facing out. It may be necessary to tap the crankshaft sprocket on with a hammer and a block of wood. Never hammer directly on the camshaft sprocket.
  • Install the new timing chain and camshaft sprocket. Make sure the marks on the camshaft sprocket and the crankshaft sprocket are aligned as your engine's specifications indicate.
  • Reinstall the camshaft sprocket bolts. Use a thread-locking compound such as "Loctite" on the threads when reinstalling these bolts.
  • Use a hammer and punch to drive out the old crankshaft seal.
  • Turn the cover over and tap the new crankshaft seal into the timing cover. Coat the lips of the seal with a light coat of oil before reinstalling.
  • Reinstall the timing chain cover gasket onto the engine block and put a light bead of silicone sealer in the corners where the oil pan gasket and timing chain cover gasket meet.
  • Reinstall the front timing chain cover the harmonic balancer and the bottom pulley or pulleys.
  • Reinstall the water pump, the fuel pump and any other accessories that are mounted on the front of the engine.
  • Reinstall the fan and fan clutch and reconnect any heater or radiator hoses.
  • Reinstall the belts and refill the radiator with the proper mixture of coolant.
  • Reconnect the negative battery cable.
  • Double-check all connections, including the fuel lines and hoses for tightness before starting the engine.
  • Start the engine and allow it to reach full operating temperature
  • Check for any drips or leaks.
  • Check the ignition timing with a timing light and reset it if necessary.

And that's it, you're done! Replacing your timing chain and gears can help ensure optimum engine performance and fuel economy. But most of all you can say: "I did it myself!"

» Part 1       » Part 2       » Part 3
Additional Information provided courtesy of and Warranty Direct
© 2000-2007 Vincent T. Ciulla

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